We wanted to dine at Patsy's, a place known and often visited by celebrities. There were not places. Luckily there are two restaurants on 234 west 56 street. We then went next door to Basso56, an Italian restaurant I have read a number of positive reviews about.
Walk down a couple of steps into a small and dimmed restaurant with an open kitchen that soothes the space with aromas of garlic, onions and spices... Italian speaking customers, Italian speaking customers, gentle waiters and some Italian music...
Antipasti, specials of the day, salads, pastas, fish and meat. Tonight, an hour before leaving to the airport, I was craving for some pasta.
Tonight's drink: Peroni, an Italian larger, traditional and natural. A light end bitterness, a light body, this kind of commercial yet well done beer.
- Fried calamari in tomato sauce. It's bizarrely fried covered with something sandy, the calamari doesn't' taste or feel like calamari. Very hard and crunchy. It is unpleasant to chew. I tried to add some lemon which didn't make any difference. The tomato sauce on another hand is good; pure Italian.
- Three chunks of burrata wrapped in Parma ham, truffles with truffle oil and topped with olive oil. The burrata doesn't feel.
- Fritto misty is a mountain of roquette leaves topped with fried vegetables seasoned with cheese fondue. I didn't understand the plate much. It needs more cheese, more flavor, the vegetables are not battered to be juicy, oil is felt, a light burning after note. Not as I expected.
- The pasta has a homemade feel to it. Aldente but a bit chewy. The papardelle is delicious! The meat ragu and the pasta quality are very good. The tortellini with green peas are as good as they should be. The risotto is rich and generously filled with seafood mixed in a creamy flavorful sauce.
Three pasta dishes and one risotto. Good food but again nothing exceptional.
What's special about this restaurant is the speed. One waiter runs with the plates, another immediately follows with the pepper mill or Parmesan when needed. There's a certain synchronization between members of staff worth pointing out.
The pluses and minuses:
- Food is not up to standard. It needs finesse and more taste.
- The plates presentation lack style and finesse.
- Service is good, attentive and personalized.
- Dim and small, it has a cozy ambiance.
- It's noisy like all other restaurants in New York. It has a cozy ambiance.
After reading all the reviews online about this place, I expected much more. It was nothing exceptional.